PACS post / May 1, 2019

Research Assistant – Digital Civil Society Lab

Term: Approximately May through September 2019. Exact start and end dates are negotiable.

Hours: Approximately 10 hours per week during Spring quarter; 40 hours per week during Summer quarter

Pay rate: $18/hour



People today use their resources to make change in a variety of ways – including charitable giving and political activism, using certain kinds of technology or investing in certain ways, and making consumer choices that align with their values. We seek a team of research assistants to help lead facilitated conversations about these choices with diverse communities across the U.S., focusing specifically on people between the ages of 18 and 30, immigrants, rural, and marginalized communities.

The Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society is hiring up to two research assistants for the Spring and Summer quarters of 2019 for a research project on how people use their time, money, and data to express their values in the United States.

Candidates must be available from approximately May-September, for 10 hours per week during the academic year and full time during the summer. This position requires extensive travel within the United States during the summer months. Top candidates will have excellent public speaking and facilitation skills, language fluency in Spanish and/or another language (see below), a high degree of independence and resourcefulness, and a strong interest in philanthropy and civil society issues.

The outputs of this research will inform two projects: a forthcoming book How We Give Now: Philanthropy for the Rest of Us by Dr. Lucy Bernholz (Director of DCSL and Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS), and a new national working group of academic, civic, and philanthropic leaders investigating changes in giving trends in the United States.


  • Spring 2019
    • Under the guidance of the Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab, help the research team plan the summer workshop schedule, work with local partners and venues to schedule workshops, send invitations to participants and track RSVPs, book travel arrangements, and design workshop materials and agendas.
    • Participate in a research training workshop with the R.A team, the Lab Director and colleagues from The Urban Institute in D.C.
  • Summer 2019
    • With a team of one to two additional research assistants, travel to between five and ten regions and cities in the U.S. and facilitate three to five small-group workshops per week with community groups.
    • Work with local hosts/venues to communicate final workshop details, prepare and produce workshop materials, set up and clean up venues, and send follow-up communications to host organizations and/or participants.
    • Collect, organize and analyze qualitative feedback from participants.
    • Contribute to trip reports and reflections in partnership with other members of the research team.
  • Fall 2019
    • For candidates continuing as Stanford students in Fall 2019 there is an opportunity to assist with analysis and synthesis of workshop outputs and participant feedback. This is not required.

Ideal Qualifications

  • Junior, senior or graduate level students at Stanford are eligible; this includes rising juniors and rising seniors
  • Fluency in a language other than English is required, with a strong preference for Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and/or Vietnamese. Please indicate language skills and fluency level on your resume.
  • Ability to commit approximately 10 hours per week for the remainder of the Spring quarter and to work full-time, including extensive U.S. travel, during the summer months
  • Strong public speaking and facilitation skills
  • Ability to travel independently and manage a complex travel itinerary


To Apply

Send a resume (indicate language skills and fluency level) and cover letter to Laura Seaman, Associate Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford PACS (

Additional Opportunity

For candidates interested in working on this research project but unable to commit to traveling this summer, the team is hiring one project assistant to coordinate travel, logistics and finances for the research team. The ideal candidate will have excellent project management skills, and experience booking (and troubleshooting) complex travel itineraries. To apply, please send resume and cover letter to and indicate your availability (hours per week) during Spring and Summer quarters.